How to waterproof FPV drone: the ultimate guide of fpv conformal coating

Waterproofing FPV drone is important in order to extend its lifespan, and conformal coating is the most popular technique for doing so. You can make sure your fpv drone can fly in harsh weather by shielding its parts from moisture and chemical deterioration.

What is fpv conformal coating and waterproof?

The type of waterproof fpv drone

For waterproofing fpv drone electronics, silicone and acrylic are two common options.

The main benefit of acrylic fpv conformal coating is how quickly it can be removed. With a soldering iron, the coating can be swiftly burned through. However, its lack of durability is also a drawback because certain quadcopter parts, like video transmitters, can produce a lot of heat that could be sufficient to melt acrylic coating.

Since silicone fpv conformal coating can endure higher temperatures than acrylic, it is the material of choice for quadcopters or RC models in general.

FPV drone waterproofing

What is conformal coating

A thin, protective layer known as conformal coating clings to the curves of a printed circuit board (PCB). Potential electrical shorts are avoided because to the coating’s creation of a layer of insulation over the PCB’s solder joints and component parts.

Waterproofing fpv drone electronics is still advantageous even if you don’t intend to fly your fpv drone over water or in wet or icy weather. Conformal covering protects the fpv drone against humidity and moisture that could be introduced while landing or crashing from damp grass or leaves. Conformal coating helps prevent electrical shorts on exposed solder joints and extends the life of your fpv drone’s electronics by shielding against these possible risks.

Why a FPV drone need waterproof and conformal coating?

The short solution is to try to prevent getting your fpv drone wet, like with most electronics. You are inviting everything from rust to short circuits and everything in between when you combine electronics and water.

However, it is impossible to completely prevent dampness when operating a fpv drone. The majority of fpv drone flying occurs outside, which offers a variety of water sources, including humidity, wet grass, snow, and, yes, even water like ponds and ocean.

Since most fpv drones cannot be submerged in water, we wish to fly them in settings where this is inevitable. Therefore, we must understand how to waterproof, or at the very least, water-resistant, fpv drones.

FPV drone waterproofing

How to waterproof FPV drone?


It is advisable to apply conformal coating on a quad that has already been constructed because the coating on the solder pads may make further soldering more challenging. If you want to waterproof fpv, you need first complete its construction and test-fly it to make sure all of its parts are working properly. The conformal coating should then only be used after that. If you redo the soldering on the quad, don’t forget to reapply the coating to any solder joints.

Consider removing any tapes and heat shrink covering the PCBs on older quads. Before applying conformal coating, properly clean the electronics to remove any dirt. Isopropyl alcohol and an old toothbrush work nicely for this.

Applying Silicone Conformal Coating on PCB

Focus on covering exposed metal surfaces, especially microchip pins, solder pads, solder joints, and other locations that can conduct electricity when wet, when applying silicone conformal coating to your PCB. Be mindful, nevertheless, not to cover components like:

  • Flight controller: boot button, USB port, barometer
  • FPV camera: image sensor
  • VTX: channel button
  • RX: bind button

Like nail polish, apply the conformal coating by brushing it on uniformly to make a glossy, protective covering.

  • FPV Camera: We’ll start with the FPV camera because it’s the most difficult component to waterproof on yourfpv  It is advised to disassemble your FPV camera and waterproof the board because water can still enter even if it is completely enclosed and you cannot see your electronics. It’s crucial to avoid touching the image sensor or applying any conformal coating to it once the main board of your FPV camera has been removed. The image sensor and the socket on the back of your camera are the only two places where silicone conformal coating cannot be used.
  • ESC: It’s not too difficult to waterproof the ESC. Apply conformal coating everywhere, but avoid getting any inside the plug. If you do, your fpv drone might not function because the plug’s pins won’t make touch with one another.Never forget to add conformal coating to the solder on the motor wires since you can solder through the silicone conformal coating.
  • Flight controller: The flight controller’s only non-conforming areas are the startup button, barometerand the USB ports. Once you’ve soldered the receiver, FPV camera, and VTX on, it’s a good idea to apply conformal coating to your fly controller so you can cover the solder joints.
  • VTX: Heat shrink is often used to cover VTXs. Since heat shrink holds water, it is actually very harmful if yourfpv drone gets even slightly wet. So that the conformal coating may be sprayed everywhere, remove any heat shrink from your VTX. The only areas to avoid getting conformal coating on are the channel
  • Receiver: Make sure to avoid the bind button on your receiver since if conformal coating goes there, you won’t be able to attach it to your controller.

Checking for complete coverage

Use a UV torch to verify full coverage. When exposed to UV light, the coating’s UV tracer fluoresces, making it simple to determine where it has been placed and whether any areas require more coating. Make sure the coated surfaces glow uniformly and consistently.

the ultimate guide of fpv conformal coating


Before flying your fpv drone, give the conformal coating around 30 minutes to cure, but if you want to be safe, you might let it dry overnight. Usually, one layer is plenty, but you can add another for extra protection if you think you need more coverage or if you think you missed any locations.

Precautions for fpv waterproof and conformal coating

While conformal coating offers excellent protection for your FPV drone’s electronics in wet environments, applying it requires careful attention to safety and potential risks. Here are some key precautions to consider:

Health and Safety

Ventilation: Conformal coatings often contain solvents and fumes that can be harmful if inhaled. Always work in a well-ventilated area and wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, safety glasses, and a respirator.

Skin and Eye Contact: Avoid skin and eye contact with the coating. Wear gloves and safety glasses during application and wash thoroughly with soap and water if contact occurs.

Fire Hazard: Some conformal coatings are flammable. Keep away from open flames and heat sources during application and storage.

Electronic Compatibility

Research Compatibility: Not all conformal coatings are compatible with all electronic components. Check with the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure compatibility with your specific flight controller, ESC, and other electronics.

Affecting Performance: Certain coatings might affect the performance of sensors, antennas, or other sensitive components. Test the coating on a small, non-critical area before applying it to the entire board.

Mask Sensitive Components: Cover or mask any sensitive components like buttons, connectors, or sensors that shouldn’t be coated.

Application and Maintenance

Preparation is Key: Clean and dry your electronics thoroughly before applying the coating. Dust, dirt, or moisture can compromise the coating’s effectiveness.

Follow Instructions: Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application thickness, drying time, and any additional steps.

Thin Coats are Best: Apply multiple thin coats instead of one thick layer to ensure even coverage and prevent clumping.

Test After Application: After the coating dries, test your drone’s functionality to ensure it operates normally.

Maintenance and Recoating: Conformal coating may degrade over time, especially after exposure to harsh environments. Regularly inspect the coating and consider reapplying it when necessary.

Additional Tips

Practice applying the coating on a scrap piece of electronics before working on your actual drone.

Consider using a coating specifically designed for FPV drones or electronics applications.

Store leftover coating in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.

Dispose of used materials and rags according to local regulations.

By following these precautions and approaching the application with care, you can effectively protect your FPV drone from water damage while ensuring your own safety and the proper functioning of your electronics.

How to Remove fpv siliconeconformal coating?

Use isopropyl alcohol with a brush (or cotton swap) to remove silicone conformal coating if you mistakenly coated solder pads or if you need to do so for any other reason. A hot soldering iron can also be used to burn away the coating.

To take off the coating:

  • You should soak a cotton bud in isopropyl alcohol.
  • On the PCB where the coating needs to be removed, gently rub the cotton bud dipped in alcohol.
  • A light coating can usually be removed with a few gentle rubs

What to Do If You Crash Into Water?

If your FPV drone gets Wet, take these steps:

  • As soon as possible, take the fpv drone out of the water, and unplug the battery.
  • To get rid of minerals, rinse the fpv drone with distilled water. Even better is to use isopropyl alcohol to clean the electronics only, NOT the motors.
  • Let the fpv drone totally dry. It is not possible to utilize rice; instead, use a fan and allow the area to air dry for at least a day.
How to waterproof FPV drone


To increase the longevity of your FPV drone electronics and guard against moisture-related damage, you must waterproof fpv with silicone conformal coating. You can make sure your fpv drone remains operational and prepared for your next journey by following the guidelines and instructions provided in this article. A happy flight.

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